Australian researchers have taught hundreds of thousands of brain cells in a dish in five minutes how to play a simple computer game.
It is related to the computer game “Pong”, which is one of the first games ever made for the computer. It’s a bit like tennis: the ball moves back and forth and as a player you are a small moving rod that the ball must bounce to the other side. The algorithm has mastered the game in about 90 minutes (or 5,000 jars), but the live brain cells in the dish seem to have learned the game in 10 to 15 jars.
The tiny brain in the dish is made up of about 800,000 live brain cells on an electrode chip that makes it possible to send signals to neurons as well as read those signals. Cyborg brains wield without an opponent. With the signals sent to the chip, the researchers told them where the ball was, and the cells moved the beam back and forth based on that knowledge.
Ultimately, the researchers – who founded the company – want to combine these types of living cells with computer elements made of silicon to create faster learning for artificial intelligence. And yes: this is indeed very exciting.